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JULY
11
2006

PRUSIK PEAK, Burgner-Stanley Route (S Face) (5.9)

Category: Washington      Trip Report #: 28
Partner: Clint Cummins
Elev: 8,000 ft

A North Cascades classic route on steep and solid granite.

Burgner Stanley Route, South Face of Prusik Peak.
My parents on the summit of Prusik in 1979, four years before I was born.


After climbing the North Ridge of Mt. Stuart, Clint and I headed for our next nearby objective: Prusik Peak, south face. (I had climbed Prusik's classic West Ridge the previous summer as part of a family backpacking/climbing adventure, and had my sights set on the sheer south face ever since.)

The above photo shows the Burgner-Stanley route up the south face of Prusik Peak. We did the route in 7 pitches. The belay spots are marked on the photo with red dots.

A pitch-by-pitch description of the super fun route is as follows:

Pitch 1 - Wide 5.8 crack. Clint cleaned a fixed 3.5 Camelot - yea, booty!

Led by Clint.

(The photo shows Clint holding the 3.5 Camelot that marked the start of the Burgner-Stanley route, at least until July 12, 2006..... This photo was actually taken the day before we climbed the route, since the rain kept us from climbing until the next day.)

Pitch 2 - Easy ramp to a airy 5.8 step and short slightly runout 5.8 flare to belay at base of chockstone chimney.

Led by Steph.

(The photo shows Clint just before the airy step and flaring crack near the top of the second pitch.)

Pitch 3 - 5.8 up the lower part of the chockstone chimney. Some fun stemming.

Led by Clint.

(This photo is taken from the belay between the second and third pitches.)

Pitch 4 - 5.8 to just above the giant chockstone near the top of the long chimney. Some stemming at the beginning, and then a tight move under the chockstone. Good thing we did not have packs with us to haul. We found a Nalgene lying on top of the chockstone, evidently lost by someone doing the burly moves of the pitch above.

Led by Clint.

(This photo was taken mid-pitch, showing the squeeze behind the chockstone.)

Pitch 5 - 5.9 flaring squeeze. This was a burly pitch, certainly seemed harder than 5.9 to me! But inch by inch we made it up. Clint was glad to have his kneepad he had brought.

Led by Clint (a hard lead!).

(This photo was taken by Clint of Steph squeezing her way up the pitch.)

Pitch 6 - Class 3 ramp to move belay to base of final pitch to the top.

An amazing lead by Steph.

(This photo was taken from the pitch looking southwards across the Enchantments towards Little Annapurna.)

Pitch 7 - Sustained 5.9+ left facing crack. Nice stemming on knobs. I found this to be much easier than the flaring fifth pitch. It was a fun and rewarding final pitch to the top.

Led by Clint.

(This photo was taken from the belay at the bottom of the pitch.)

The climb took 4.5 hours (we started climbing at 9:40am and reached the summit at 2:15pm). We rappelled down the standard north face route and were back at the base of the south face route in 1 hour, and 25 minutes later back at Lake Vivian, glad to see that the goats had not discovered our stashed packs. We hiked out in 3.5 (me) to 6.5 (Clint) hours.

Note that unless you want to do a very long hike in and out on the same day as the climb, you will want to camp overnight. However, a permit is required to camp overnight in the Enchantments. Permits can be acquired months in advance, or by a daily lottery that is held at the Leavenworth ranger station for a limited number of permits.

This was a great climb on great granite! Thanks to Clint for leading the hard stuff (especially that flaring squeeze bit!).



The Climbing Adventures Continue...

We still had a few days left in our 9-day climbing adventure, so we headed north to Washington Pass to cooler weather and to two stellar climbs: the East Buttress of South Early Winter Spire and the West Face of North Early Winter Spire (scroll to bottom of page for links to these TRs).



Plug for my flower webpage

There were some nice flowers on the approach to Prusik Peak. This is a photo of a spotted saxifrage between Lake Vivian and the base of the south face of Prusik Peak.


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